Last night was the second night of Passover. I'm beat.
The first night:
I think there were about 30 pp at the seder. Fillip's Aunt made a whole thing before hand about "squeezing in" the kids. We even brought our own chair for Logan. You know, "the family is growing so rapidly, and I really like to include my friends too." We were seated off to the side, where we couldn't see or hear a thing. Seems to me the reason you do this is to keep the tradition going by teaching the kids. When they can't see or hear what is going on, they are just bored sitting there for 2 hours for no good reason. When you are asked to arrived promptly at 5:30pm, you don't expect dinner to be served after nine. The kids were going crazy from being hungry and tired. Fillip's Aunt seemed put out and surprised when I finally went into the kitchen to make Hayden a plate. I found the brisket and gave him a tiny bit and she said "well, isn't that enough for him? He ate his hard boiled egg, right?" WTF?! No, that's not enough. We generally give our kid a full meal, which he eats when he isn't so tired he could drop. Not only do we give him food, we also give him a plate, a fork and a napkin- which I had to practically beg her for, item by item. Does she think we just put him and Logan on the floor and throw food at them like dogs?
Can you tell I'm kinda pissed? I am really ticked about the whole thing. Fillip's bro joked that we should have our own seder next year. That sounds great.
Last night was better, but still such a late evening. Also, Hayden was already overtired from the night before, so chances of avoiding a meltdown (our goal for most outings) was next to nothing.
The second night:
This Aunt was much more mindful of having kids. Instead of gourmet eggplant or trout spreads, she had fruit gel candies, which we got in trouble for trying to curtail the kids' consumption of. She provided Passover placemats with markers to give the little ones something to do. She approached me and asked if Hayden was hungry, bringing him a matzoh ball. She truly went beyond what anyone could expect of a very busy hostess to make us feel welcome and accomodate little kids. The fact that it was still late is just the nature of things, and we ate much earlier than the previous evening.
Overall, I think Hayden had a good time, aside from the seder. He loves playing with his cousins and was running around chasing after all of them. After dinner, the tradition is for the kids to find the afikomin (a hidden piece of matzah, symbolizing dessert. We get actual dessert after all is said and done.) Since obviously Hayden had no clue what was going on, I got to help! The excitement of the kids was contagious and he eagerly ran to go look for whatever we said was hidden. I instructed him to look under this and that, and all of a sudden I saw that white paper towel peeking out from under magazines. "Hayden, that's what you are looking for. Pull it out!" He hesitantly grabbed it (being far more used to instructions not to touch anything rather than pillaging an unfamiliar living room) and held it up. It was like Charlie finding the Golden Ticket. Hayden found it! Hayden found it! Go give it to Uncle Marvin! Off we went to hand in the prize. Uncle Marvin handed over $20! Wowzers! I used to get $2 back in the day. Hayden doesn't know $2 from $20, but he does like having money. In Fillip's family, the winner gives part of the winnings to each kids who searched (guess when you only get two bucks, not much to go around, but with twenty, its a different story.) So Hayden was given one dollar bills, and handed them to each kid. It was very cute. I especially liked when my 5 year old nephew patted him on the back saying "Good job Hayden. That was really good." What a good sport!
Although that was toward the end of the evening, it definitely lightened things up, as we were no longer having to sit still and quiet (well, there was an attempt to achieve this, but it didn't fly too well.) We were told what angels our children are, even by those sitting next to us. By the time we got home we were absolutely exhausted.
btw- Lest anyone think I have forgotten about Logan, he was great. He charmed the relatives endlessly with his latest schtick. He ate his dinner and played until the end of the seder. At that point he started to get cranky, so I changed him into jammies, gave him a good washdown with the wipes (did Fillip bathe him in Gerber chicken and rice? His face, hands and chest were completely encrusted), and tucked him in to his carrier to go to sleep. He was so tired and, I think, relieved to go to sleep. I stayed with him a few mins, as he kept checking to make sure I was there. I find that sweet and am happy to indulge him, especially when the house is unfamiliar. (While I was peacefully getting Logan undressed and to sleep, Fillip and Hayden were battling in the hallway over Hayden crumbling his matzah all over the floor, for the third time!)
My MIL has the joy of taking care of my most likely cranky boys today. Lucky her! Lucky us in that we aren't having Shabbat dinner tonight. We need a night off from large, late family gatherings. Our last seder is tomorrow evening at my mom's house. The seder itself will be much shorter, but the drive is almost 3 hours each way. Hopefully, the boys will sleep most of the way. Hopefully, I will sleep sometime in the next decade.